Cricket

Windies on a high but will be wary of India

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard arrives at Visakhapatnam Airport on Monday.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard arrives at Visakhapatnam Airport on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

A series win here would certainly raise Kieron Pollard’s profile.

The West Indians are on a high after the resounding win over India in the first ODI at Chepauk. Captain Kieron Pollard has reasons to hope for a repeat show but would be conscious that the Virat Kohli-led Indian team will be in the mood to to settle scores when the two teams clash in the second ODI of the three-match series at Dr. YSR-ACA-VDCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

The West Indians would be wary of Kohli, who stands out as an exceptional leader, invariably leading from the front especially when the chips are down. His teammates too will back him with the desired improvement in all departments of the game to keep the series alive.

It is undeniable that India’s fortunes revolve around the form of the top three — openers Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul and Kohli at No.3.

But, even from the embarrassing defeat in the first game, there were positives as Shreyas Iyer re-asserted his growing stature in the team as a reliable No.4 and finally wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant coming good to put a temporary stop to all the criticism hovering around him following his inconsistent run in the recent past.

But, what could be of concern for Kohli will be the failure of the spinners Kuleep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to pick up even a single wicket in Chennai where they were expected to put up a better show.

No doubt, the entire Indian bowling struggled including pacers Deepak Chahar, Mohd Shami and Shivam Dube in the face of a calculated assault by the century-makers Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer.

So, it is imperative for the Indian team — which had an optional practice on Tuesday with Kohli and Rohit not coming to the ground — to make amends against a team which has proved to be no push-over.

With the pitch predicted to be full of runs and the bowlers likely to face a real challenge, it will be interesting to see what options the Indian think-tank will look for in bowling attack in a must-win game to keep hopes alive in the series.

This match might well test the maturity level of the young guns in both teams in handling the pressure of expectations. By all means, it is going to be an exciting fare in front of an expected sell-out crowd.

Bumrah bowls in the nets

Interestingly, Jasprit Bumrah, who has been out of action since the start of the home series against South Africa due to a stress fracture and is recovering fast, had a long stint in the nets with head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling Bharat Arun having a close look at him.

It is said that the Indian think-tank is looking to bring Bumrah back for the next home series against Sri Lanka.

The teams (from): Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

West Indies: Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Rostan Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (C), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Match officials: On-field umpires: Rodney Tucker & Anil Choudhary. TV umpire: Shaun George. 4th umpire: Nithin Menon.

Start of play: 1.30 p.m.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:44:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-west-indies-vizag-odi-preview/article30327587.ece

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